If you are reading this and live in Florida, then you are very much aware that on June 1, we officially will kick-off the 2019 Hurricane Season. According to The Weather Channel the 2019 Hurricane Season is expected to slightly above average. While they can predict (tounge-in-cheek) the amount of hurricanes that will dance around the Atlantic, what they are unable to predict with 100% certanitiy is where will a storm make landfall,
Are you prepared or are you making preparations in the unlikely case that a storm dances your way? From natural disasters like hurricanes to common issues such as robbery and hardware failures, your business may be particularly vulnerable during a time of crisis. While a catastrophic disaster may easily destroy a business in seconds, most business owners are unprepared for even common events, such as flooding or fires. Ensuring that your business is protected when an emergency strikes is a wise investment that is essential to the long term success of your company.
Disaster planning should be highly detailed, and business owners/managers should take extra time to review the plan to ensure they’re not forgetting important aspects of protecting their companies. A number of online disaster prep resources are available from federal and state government agencies, and some include checklists that will help owners/managers decide what they need to do.
The sites include:
- Prepare My Business , sponsored by the Small Business Administration
- Ready.gov, operated by the Department of Homeland Security
- Hurricane Preparedness Cchecklist, provided by SCORE, the organization that provides free counseling for small businesses
- Protect Your Business from All Natural Hazards, by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Protect Your Employees
The most important measure a business owner can take during a time of crisis is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the employees. Your business should have an emergency plan that will provide protection for every employee, visitor and client in the event of a sudden calamity. The emergency plan should make provisions for severe-weather sheltering, an evacuation or a lock-down in the event of an act of violence. Having an emergency plan in place will not only help you keep yourself and your employees safe, but will enable your business to recover from a crisis more quickly.
Have A Plan
A second measure that you should take as a business owner to ensure the survival of the business through a natural disaster is to familiarize yourself with your insurance policies. Review the fine print of your property insurance policy and your business interruption insurance. Make sure your policies still provide sufficient coverage, especially if your business has experienced growth. In addition to this, your business should also have an alternate work site and backup suppliers and vendors in the event that a natural disaster should affect the efficiency of your primary providers.
Back Up Important Data
Finally, having a digital backup of your company’s important data is essential in ensuring the survival of your business through a natural disaster. All critical data, including accounting records, customer lists, inventory records and employee data, should be stored and maintained by an online backup service provider. Ensuring that all of your critical company information has been scanned and is stored off-site is essential to your company’s ability to endure through a catastrophe such as a fire or a flood.
If your business does not have a contingency plan in place, create one today. Preparing your employees and your business for a crisis is essential to ensuring that your business will survive a disaster.